BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Two-dozen alleged members of Boston street-gangs have been charged in Boston federal court in connection with a cocaine trafficking operation in a Brighton housing development.
According to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, those 24 individuals are also facing separate charges for operating a large-scale drug trafficking organization.
“Despite a pandemic and constant, nationwide criticism of police officers, these agents and officers risked their own safety to take two dozen alleged gang members and drug traffickers off the street," said Lelling. "[They seized] over two dozen firearms, narcotics and cash along the way."
Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said the 18-month-long operation has been collaborative effort between the United States Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Boston Police Department, and Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins' office.
According to charging documents, since November 2018, federal and local authorities conducted the investigation, dubbed “Operation Snowfall,” of drug trafficking activities by Boston-based street gang members and associates.
The first part of the investigation targeted the Commonwealth Development in Brighton, formerly known as Fidelis Way, a multi-apartment public housing development. It is alleged that the defendants, through their drug trafficking activities, assumed control over multiple Fidelis Way apartments, where they stored, cooked, packaged and sold drugs.
As a result, Lelling's office said their activities caused a blight of the development and reduced the quality of life of the other residents.
The second part of the investigation targeted large scale drug suppliers and their associates, which included alleged Boston street gang members.
Lelling's office said it is alleged that "the targets continued to distribute cocaine and cocaine base throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown. One defendant, Eric Davis, even traveled to California in April 2020 to try to obtain kilograms of cocaine."
Over the course of the investigation, investigators purchased and seized approximately 1.7 kilograms of cocaine and cocaine base, approximately 27 pounds of marijuana, approximately $200,000 in cash, over 200 rounds of ammunition and 11 firearms.
In addition, 17 search warrants were executed today in Brighton, Dorchester, Roxbury, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Randolph, Holbrook and Braintree.
At present, approximately 30 firearms, a half kilo of cocaine and $350,000 has been seized.
The charges provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release up to life and a fine of up to $1 million.
(Photo: Getty Images)